This week has been the end of a fight for a cold, just to have my son get the cold, to my daughter getting a whack of teeth in at once, to trying to meet a yearbook final deadline (so not going to) and with a great partner creating my first wiki. Now we are just waiting for somebody, anybody to respond to our wiki ... here is our address just in case people missed it on the discussion board http://koratchat.wikispaces.com/ ... We are on day three of our posting and nobody has come to it yet. When I asked Linda what she though she aptly compared it to inviting everyone to a party and having no one show up.... well, hopefully everyone will just arrive late:) It is a boring article though.
We ended up using wikispaces. Linda suggested it as she had created a space there and it seemed at the time as good as any. After seeing the PB wiki site I now fully disagree. I played with wikispaces in my own account and tried setting different colour settings and background and none of the stuck. In our joint account I found that once pages were named I couldn't go back and rename them. I also found that rather than making a different page the homepage, I had to cut all the existing information off of the original one, and paste it to a new page. The navigation bar was awkward as well.
Collaborating for the wiki was fine and working online worked quite well. Linda and I mostly communicated through email and discussed changes that could be made. Our article was very, very dry and I don't think left much room for disagreement for key points etc. I wish I had found the article more interesting/inspiring but instead I found myself unsure that it was the right article that I had read and actually went back to see if it was a different article by Korat that we were supposed to have read.
My suggestion in the future for this assignment would actually to have the class as a whole to create a wiki... maybe even creating a group definitin of Web 2.0 and its place in the learning environment. Different individuals could be in charge of different pages and facilitating the development on those pages. I think it would be more of a collaborative effort and it could be facilitated throughout the entire course... I don't know just a thought.
I see lots of possibilities for wikis in the classroom and am thinking that I might try to incorporate one into my marketing class for the remainder of the semester. I definitely won't use wikispaces though. Most likely the PB site (which I also liked for lack of advertising). I can see creating a group definition for "What is Marketing" and having students define elements of the 4Ps as well. I like the idea that students can work together to create a personal and meaningful definition. I wonder though if a different format would encourage different people to take part in the conversation more. I know that in the classroom when we have group discussions generally the same five people speak their opinions while the rest wait for these five to share. I wonder though if the same five would continue to voice while the rest wait. Having people see that their word is recorded and it is easily visible who contributed what might force some people to have a voice who would rather be passive in the process.
I think I can see pretty much every subject area using wikis to share learning, and enriching understanding. literature circles, book discussions, math help, biology terms, art concepts, health and fitness... Wikis definitely would allow students to take ownership of learning.
As an aside, I was please to find that many of my students don't see wikipedia as the end to all answers. they are very aware (as a majority) that they are created by individuals and are subject to flaws. Most use it as a starting point for research or a quick search for something they think they know and are looking for verification.
I am about to have an 18 month old assistant typer so I better end this 21
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